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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Second Lieutenant William Birnie, Royal Engineers


KC Wizard

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I’m trying to find the circumstances of the death of Second Lieutenant William Birnie of the Royal Engineers, 2nd/2nd (Highland) Field Coy, died 14 October 1916 and buried at Mailly Wood Cemetery on the Somme. The unit was part of 51st Highland Division, which did not go into action until 13 November. Any information would be appreciated.

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The War Diary here at Discovery (free to download if you register) will tell you he was working in a trench when it was hit by a minenwerfer. His body was found next day under a flying traverse. With a working party at the RE Dump at Mailly, I think.

 

charlie

 

Edited by charlie962
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Many thanks to the both of you. This is exactly what I was looking for. I'm not too familiar with RE, so did not know if they had war diaries like the infantry battalions.

 

His date of death is listed as 14 October 1916 on the CWGC website, but the Roll of Honour and War Diary clearly show that this is an error. 

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There is also a mention in the WD of the Commander RE 51 Division on 25 and 26/10/1916 to the effect that he was reported missing on 24/10. He is also named on a list of Officer casualties attached to the October 1916 WD of the 51 Div Adjutant and Quarter-Master General. No further details though.

Brian

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